August 10, 2016
Why “male” and “female” instead of “man” and “woman”?
Why use explicit language?
What is the Beast?
Will you come to a convention in my area?
This is definitely the most frequently asked question I receive. My editor and I have even gotten into long arguments about my refusal to back down on this matter. In fact, I’ve gotten stars docked for it. You may be thinking “surely you regret not just going with the good ’ol man and woman edition,” but I have to admit: not a drop. I find the complaints understandable and even amusing.
It simply boils down to linguistics. Linguistics is more than just language, it’s also a map to culture, history, and evolution. I’m a huge fan of linguistics, like Tolkien, and I rightly expect some people to loathe me for it. However, my goal is to translate what the people are saying in their tongue to as close to our language as I can manage. That means you almost never see any non-human tongue.
“Male” and “female”, as you can probably guess by now, is the closest translation to the elven words for those genders. Why not “man” and “woman”? In elven history, elves came into being before mankind and were the writers and shapers of much of the world’s history and one with nature. When other races came—dwarves, goblins, eventually humans, etc… elves needed a way to define themselves outside of such creatures— like we humans have a distinct word for our genders and refer to all other things as “male” “female” etc… but never “man” and “woman”. In the elven world, elves and nature were one and in harmony—creatures of peace and superiority to the grittiness of the rest of the world. Thus elves and nature retain “male” and “female” word translations while male and female in other races receive the “man” and “woman” mark, as this designates them, in a way, as “lesser.”
You may notice, however, that this is not consistent across all elves—some elves identify more with other cultures or believe such a distinction to be belittling and wrong.
For the same reason as above: linguistics. If I am going to translate everything a character is saying into English, then I ought to do it with everything and not pick and choose at random.
My personal fantasy writing rule: Unless the word CANNOT be translated it SHOULD be translated.
Hehehe… Oh boy do I get this a lot. You will find out, don’t worry. Heroes or Thieves will reveal a lot. Gods or Men will wrap up any questions you have left.
Actually, I’m very open to the idea. Right now, Steps of Power has been sticking to the Midwestern/Eastern region of the United States. This year of 2016, we will be attending the largest convention in the USA, New York Comic Con, as well as trying out Cincinnati Comic Expo. WOOO! We will, of course, keep our Archon and Fandom Fest in the mix. Next year, at request of a fan, we will be taking a very serious look at a convention in Florida, as well as perhaps adding Gen Con to the list. We are always open to more suggestions!
But remember, we have to take it slow. We are still an unknown series and that means, in laymen’s terms, that we are broke: everything we make goes right back into this series. Conventions that we consider must provide us with an audience capable of allowing us to at break financially even on the cost of the event. (Alas, these suckers are exppppeeeeennnsive. Even big time authors suggest staying away from conventions. But we love them. As long as we can afford them, we’re in!)
What size am I talking about? 30,000+ attendance (this is fairly common across the United States). However, Archon, with only 2000 people, was, of 2015, our best event—so we do make exceptions where the audience is right!
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